POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
Getting It Off Your Chest

by David Trumbull
February 18, 2011

It is said that Ronald Reagan always put on his suit-coat and would never step foot in the Oval Office of the White House in his shirtsleeves, such was his respect for the office of the Presidency of the United States.

In 1840 much of the city of Washington was shocked by the installation, in the Capitol Rotunda, of a sculpture of George Washington, bare to the waist in the manner of a classical Greek statue of Zeus, by Boston artist Horatio Greenough (1805-1852).

“The man does not live, and never did live, who saw Washington without his shirt!” said Virginia Congressman Henry A. Wise (1806-1876). And Boston’s leading architect, Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844), said the work of art made the Father of Our Country look like he was “entering or leaving a bath.” The outcry was such that the statue was moved outdoors and neglected for several years. It is now in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Earlier this month New York Congressman Christopher Lee resigned after press reports that the married man had posted a shirtless photo of himself in response to a personal advertisement on craigslist. Meanwhile, freshman Tennessee Congresswoman Julia Hurley credits her previous job at Hooters restaurant for her success. Well, I guess they both just wanted to put the “party” back in Republican Party. As the ancient Roman statesman M.T. Cicero said “O tempora o mores,” which translates roughly to “where are we going and what are we doing in this hand-basket?” As always, be sure to turn to the pages of the Post-Gazette to stay abreast of the news.

[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]